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Sportmarket Pro Review: How to Get the Best Prices on Big Sports

This review is an affiliate post. It’s also a very positive review, which in the world of affiliate posts often means the review is completely full of shit, but I…

This review is an affiliate post. It’s also a very positive review, which in the world of affiliate posts often means the review is completely full of shit, but I have to say: I’m honestly a big fan of Sportmarket Pro. It’s a great tool that any serious, higher turnover bettor needs to consider.

What is Sportmarket Pro?

At its core, Sportmarket Pro is a betting aggregator that lets you place bets at the highest odds available across multiple bookmakers and exchanges. For easy record keeping, it averages out the odds received and reports them as a single bet.

The bookmakers and exchanges available are also ones you wouldn’t generally have access to and have a lower bookmaker takeout. At the moment the sites available to Australians are:

  • Betdaq
  • IBC
  • ISN
  • Matchbook
  • Pinnacle
  • SBO

(The Sportmarket Pro website says that Ga288 is available, but I’m yet to see them come up with odds available for an event).

The focus here is on the biggest – and highest liquidity – markets in the largest international sports. If you want to bet head to head, handicaps or totals on sports like football, tennis and basketball, then you’ll be happy with the offering. If you want to use it to get the best odds on Australian specific sporting leagues, like the AFL or NRL, then sorry – they’re not available. The full list of current sports offered is: football, tennis, basketball, American football, baseball, ice hockey, cricket, rugby union, boxing and MMA.

As an example of what is achievable, on the image below, you can see that I have placed a 200 euro bet on the draw on Italian football. Sportmarket Pro will automatically take the best prices on offer, which means spreading the bet across Matchbook (11 euros at 3.494),  Betdaq (11 euro at 3.47) with the remaining 178 euro placed at Matchbook at odds of 3.435. It will then report the average odds received as if it were just a single 200 euro bet. This saves me a heap of effort shopping around for prices and placing those 3 bets myself.

Betting Italian soccer on Sportmarket Pro

Spreading money across multiple bookies with one bet

In the above example, I didn’t actually place the bet, but my quick calculation says the average odds received would have been around 3.44. It’s worth pointing out that in my experience when you are taking bets from Matchbook you often get fractionally higher odds than those shown. It may be only a per cent increase but every percentage point counts. I guess there are offers being made in the background that are too quick for the system to pick up, but they get met when the offer is actually placed. This isn’t so much an advantage of Sportmarket Pro, as much as an advantage of Matchbook. If you are living in Australia, then Sportmarket Pro may be one of few ways to get access to these Matchbook markets.

Also note that in the above example, a clear maximum bet (just a cool 5,561.09 euros…) is available at the odds I have chosen. Though I don’t plan on needing to place a 5.6k euro bet anytime soon, depending on both your bankroll and the market you are betting into this calculation could be useful.

Sportmarket Advanced Features

Beyond the core betting aggregator functionality, Sportmarket Pro offers some more advanced features for those who need them.

Compare different lines at the one time and place multiple bets across them

With the below NBA example, we could easily just take the over 226 at IBC for 1.92. It’s the best price for that line, beating Pinnacle and Matchbook, so it’s probably not a bad line. But compared to the best prices for over 225.5 and over 226.5, there are 2 smaller maximum bets available from ISN which I believe provide better longer-term value. Two very general points to come up with this logic: firstly, a 0.5 point difference in NBA totals is “worth” around 0.05 odds difference, and secondly, the ISN prices are 0.04 points better than the Pinnacle lines whereas the IBC price is only 0.01 point better than the Pinnacle line. Sportmarket Pro lets you place all of the max bets for both ISN lines at once, whereas in my experience if you place them individually, placing one can automatically lower the price on the second line.

Betting multiple NBA lines on Sportmarket Pro

Betting multiple NBA lines on Sportmarket Pro

Wait for better prices

With the below tennis example, I have input a price higher than what’s currently available. Sportmarket Pro will note this and put the bet up as an offer on Betdaq for anyone to take. I have chosen for it to be up for 10 minutes (you can choose between 5 seconds and 2 hours), but I can manually cancel it before the 10 minutes are up if I want to. Even if the offer is not accepted on Betdaq, if one of the other bookmakers’ price changes to be equal to or greater than your price, the Betdaq offer will be cancelled and your bet will be accepted by the bookmaker at the higher price.

Ask for better odds from exchanges on Sportmarket Pro

Ask for better odds from exchanges on Sportmarket Pro

Unfortunately, if you’re Australian it will only place the bets on Betdaq, which in my experience doesn’t have bets accepted too often (either that or I’m asking too high a price). In some jurisdictions, this feature will allow betting on Betfair, where I suspect you will be met with more liquidity. I’m not really sure why they don’t offer the bets on Matchbook, which would seem like a better option for most sports.

If you don’t want to have your bets offered to Betdaq, you can actually disable this feature in your settings and still choose how long you want to keep your bets attempting to fulfil. In this instance, Sportmartket Pro would just continually check the odds on offer at all the bookies and will only take your bet if they offer the correct odds.

Reports to break down your betting

I mostly use the basic Order History to see the bets I have recently placed, with their stakes, odds and outcomes, to make sure my own spreadsheet is up to date. Sportmarket Pro also offers some more advanced reporting features for breaking down your betting and where your profit or loss is coming from.

For example, with a couple of clicks, you can get a breakdown of each market type with your turnover and profit/loss. I don’t really use this for much other than curiosity – I use my own betting spreadsheet for analytics – but it could be useful to some and more so shows how they’re different from a traditional bookmaker who would never make such a detailed and customisable view of your past bets visible to you.

Sound familiar?

Astute blog readers may have noticed that the core functionality offered by Sportmarket Pro is very similar to the Asianodds service reviewed previously as part of an AsianConnect88 review. I am not trying to come up with a detailed comparison of the two, but I will list why in my experience, Sportmarket Pro is the better service to use. Firstly, the site design of Sportmarket Pro is much more useable – especially on the mobile. It sounds like a small thing, but I honestly found Asian Odds painful to use, and it’s the first thing you notice when you compare the two. The user interface of both Asianodds’ desktop and mobile platform is slow. This becomes extremely frustrating when following price sensitive tips. There is nothing worse than seeing odds crashing while continually refreshing the page attempting to place a bet.

Secondly, and what is possibly a bigger deal breaker: Asianodds only offers Football and Basketball markets. Though Sportmarket Pro doesn’t offer markets on every sport, its coverage is much better than Asianodds. Asianodds also doesn’t offer the advanced features mentioned above which can increase your betting edge. One positive for Asianconnect88 is they do offer private bookmakers accounts. Having a Pinnacle account not limited by sport is still quite valuable. Sportmarket does not provide this service to Australians.

Disadvantages of Sportmaket Pro

I do have lots of good things to say about SportMarket Pro, but ultimately it too has its limitations and issues.

You won’t get the best odds every time on Sportmarket Pro

I often find myself comparing Sportmarket Pro odds with the few soft Australian books who will take a bet from me. A decent amount of the time the soft book wins. Sportmarket Pro will help you get the best price from the bookies they support, and those they support generally have sharp prices. If you’re still well supported by Australian bookmakers, then you might get better odds with less hassle with them.

More sports would be nice

As alluded to before, I would love to see more sports offered. Yes, the sports that are covered are the largest international sports, but they are also some of the hardest sports to make money betting on. The advantage that a tool like Sportmarket Pro gives you is somewhat diminished by only being able to use it to bet on these markets.

Euros just suck

Finally, as an Aussie, betting in Euros is a bit of a hassle. I use a Transferwise borderless account to transfer in/out to keep costs down and prevent too much money sitting on the site, but it still makes everything a bit harder. Personally, I have an AUD bet tracking spreadsheet and a Euro one and have to update them both, adding a bit more time on admin (if anyone has a multi-currency sheet setup or another good way to handle this, I would love to know more). I try not to pay too much attention to currency movements but do like to think of having a good chunk of my bankroll as euros as a bit of a hedge – if the AUD goes down, sure, I lose some value in my euros, but my next overseas trip just got cheaper.

KYC, Deposits & Withdrawals

After first signing up to Sportmaket Pro you’ll be asked to complete their Know Your Customer (KYC) process. I found this relatively painless, with them requesting a passport or other “valid identity card” and a bill or bank statement which includes your address on it. I actually forget to attach one of my documents with my first email, but their prompt response (within 10 minutes) meant the whole thing was done and dusted within 20 minutes.

To get your money in and out, Sportmarket Pro supports ecoPayz, Bitcoin, Skrill, Neteller and bank transfers for both deposits and withdrawals. All of those except bank transfer will be charged a 1% fee (or minimum 10 euro) in each direction, i.e. deposit 500 euros and pay 10 euros in fees, withdraw 2000 euros and pay another 20 euros in fees.

Personally, the first time I deposited was using an international bank transfer from my regular Commonwealth Bank account. For this, Commbank not only completely locked all of my accounts until I called them and effectively had to justify why I was sending money overseas, but then proceeded to charge me an exorbitant amount of fees for the service. After that experience, I found out about Transferwise and have since been depositing and withdrawing via a Transferwise borderless account with no such issues. This saves transaction costs and I’ve found it quick and easy – transactions either way have been processed within 24 hours with no issues. I do know that the Transferwise official position is not to support gambling transfers and I’ll have to consider other options if they refuse a deposit one of these days.

I can’t vouch for how easily Sportmarket Pro works with the other deposit or withdrawal options, but suggest that Skrill and Neteller are well used enough in the gambling world to be reasonable options.

Overall conclusion on Sportmarket

At the moment I use Sportmarket Pro almost every day to place medium-sized bets on the NBA and Tennis and am very happy with it. Ultimately, to make money betting on sports you need to get the best prices available to you, and Sportmarket Pro offers you an easy way to get better prices from bookmakers who would otherwise not be accessible to me.

I would love to use it come AFL and NRL season or for some of the other sports I follow, but unfortunately, it is limited in which markets it supports.

If you’re at a point in your betting where you still find it easy to get bets on Australian bookmaker sites, then Sportmarket Pro will have less appeal to you. Having to use euros and move them to an international company not bound by Australian regulations might not seem too appealing if you’re able to get your bets on at good prices locally.

If, however, you do have issues getting your bets accepted or you are willing to deal with some extra hassle to get the best prices possible, then I would definitely recommend you give Sportmarket Pro a shot.

A word from Luke: The Sportmarket links are affiliate links. I make hardly any money from affiliate links and only include honest opinions in an attempt to help the gambling community. If you are signing up to Sportmarket, it would be very much appreciated if you used the links above. It won’t cost you anything but gives me something small back.  Big thanks to Sebass for writing this post. I personally plan to use Sportmarket for NBA next season as Asianodds was shocking to use. 

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January 2019 Review – $856.18 ($16,708 turnover)

January was a slightly disappointing month, in that, it could have been much better. I missed Swingform’s winner in the first tournament of the year as I was on a…

January was a slightly disappointing month, in that, it could have been much better. I missed Swingform’s winner in the first tournament of the year as I was on a houseboat. That would have added 2k to my winnings. I also missed 3 probet winners – was driving a lot in January and can’t bet and drive (google assistant should learn how to place a bet). So it could easily have been a $4,000 profit month, even with the reduced staking. Such is life. I trialled a few new tipsters in January and am keen on at least one. If you haven’t seen my 2018 annual review yet, I’ve had to reduce my bankroll by half… sad days I know.

 TurnoverProfit/LossPOT
Totals $16,708.00
$856.18
5.1%
Horse Racing - Probet Tips $6,309.00 $1,497.08
23.7%
Horse Racing - Betsmart $5,713 $1,049.50 18.37%
Golf - Swingform $2,601.00 -$809.90-31.1%
Darts - ontheoche $825.00
$379.50
46.0%
Cycling - Moletips $1,140.00
-$1,140.00 -100.0%
Esports - Lol-esports $120.00
-$120.00
-100.0%
Fun Bets $0
$0
0%
Promotional Betting $0 $0
0%

gambling profit for January 2019

Tipster Bets

I trialled three new tipsters in January: Betsmart, Moletips and Lol-esports. Betsmart is run by Daniel O’Sullivan who is relatively well-known. There was a comment on my July review that I should look into Betsmart (thanks Aci!). I had a look at that time but thought it was primarily form analysis. However, tips can be gleaned from inside the analysis. Betsmart provided results back to 2017 and based on average/good selections they were hitting almost 7% POT using Top Fluc (TF). Pretty impressive. Since joining they have started releasing 5 best bets each week as well as their Saturday analysis. I’m not sure yet whether it’s better to take the best bets fixed. I’ll record Betsmart Selections and Best Bets as separate items, so I can see how both are performing. Read my Betsmart review.

Moletips is a tipster covering cycling. You know I love a niche market. Although my ability to capitalise on niche markets is diminished until betbrokers start covering more sports. Every bet lost for my trial period, but I don’t hold that against the service. Without knowing for sure, as there’s no results spreadsheet to review, the service appears profitable at face value. The tips delivery and time is less than ideal, and I simply can’t fork out the money for the service at this time (it’s expensive). So I won’t be covering Moletips at this stage. Read my review of Moletips.

The third tipster I trialled was lol-esports on the Blogabet platform. I know absolutely diddly squat about esports, but neither do many of the corporate bookmakers apparently. Aside from Bet365, I’ve heard that the rest don’t employ an esports market setter. I followed lol-esports bets for about two weeks. The bets were mostly tournament markets and I assumed they were weekend tournaments… they weren’t. I still haven’t worked out when those bets are settled. Anyway, the tipster has now disappeared off the Blogabet platform, so that ends that.

Unfortunately for Swingform’s numbers, I missed the first tournament of the year where he hit a two-point win bet. Probet had a great January, but I’ve halved my staking and I missed 3 of his winning tips. Shame. A quiet month for Ontheoche.

 Turnover 2019 (all time)Profit / Loss 2019 (all time)POT 2019 (all time)
Betsmart Selections $4,073.00

$298.50
7.3%
Betsmart Best Bets $1,640.00
$751.00
45.8%
NBA Daily Profit $0
($56,493.62)
$0
($8,801.46)
0%
(15.57%)
NRL Sportpunter $0
($26,309.57)
$0
($903.17)
0%
(3.4%)
Swingform $2,601.00
($30,610.56)
-$809.90
($984.70)
-31.1%
(3.2%)
Ontheoche $825.00
($38,963.81)
$379.50
($2,186.20)
46.0%
(5.6%)
Probet $6,309.00
($322,519.16)
$1,497.08
($42,707.55)
23.7%
(13.24%)

Of Interest

Topsport has started a loyalty system where you get points for depositing. So first things first, withdraw all your money, then deposit it back in. You’ll need to turn over the money a little, but if you’re betting with them anyway it’s not hard. If you need help turning over the money, sign up to Betsmart for the month. For every $1,000 deposited you’ll get $50 bonus bet. Be warned though, they specifically state continually withdrawing and depositing will get you excluded. The first time is surely dandy though.

Next month, I plan to revisit my staking and come up with a model that makes more sense. I want a single bankroll which uses the individual POT of tipsters to increase or decrease their staking and factors in the number of tips given. Sounds confusing but I’m sure it won’t be that hard. There is a guest poster who will be reviewing Sportmarket. I used Asianodds for NBA and it wasn’t great but apparently, Sportmarket is much better. I’m also curious to know what happens to Darren Weir… there must be more to that story.

3 Comments on January 2019 Review – $856.18 ($16,708 turnover)

2018 Annual Review – A great year on the punt: $43,210.12 ($522,815.27 turnover)

Every year I look back on the gambling year and discuss how I went and what I’m looking forward to in 2019. What a great year it was as well! I travelled the world and made a profit of $43,210.12 from $522,815.27 turnover.

What a great year! I climbed to Everest base camp, lounged around on Greek islands, admired the Sophia Hagia in Istanbul, explored bunkers in Albania, wandered around castled cities in the Balkans, drank and ate myself to death all through Italy, caught steam trains around lochs in Scotland… and so much more. Just as I hit Greece my gambling profits skyrocketed. The great run continued all the way through the Balkans and Italy. In 4 months, from July to October, I made over $37,000. I visited 12 countries in the last 8 months, bringing my total number of countries visited to 41. The travel itch hasn’t died, but I need to recharge my batteries. Therefore my partner and I have bought a house in the Adelaide Hills. It’s a new adventure and a complete 180 on my 2018 life.

Travel highlights that gambling paid for

The sun rising behind Everest (Nepal), Barolo tasting in Piedmont (Italy), rainbow falls in Shillong (India), sunset from Milos (Greece).

Looking back on 2018

I’m very happy with a profit of $43,210.12 from $522,815.27 turnover. Those figures only include February to December, as February is when I started this blog. That’s a Profit on Turnover (POT) of 8.26%. The turnover is well down on 2017 where I bet more than 1 million which is to be expected since I’m now promo banned from everywhere and I missed a number of bets whilst travelling due to remoteness or lack of internet.

Net gambling profits

At the beginning of 2018, at least half of the major corporates allowed me to bet. By the end of 2018, my list of available bookmakers (who let me bet more than $1) has dwindled to Beteasy, Topsport, Ubet, and TAB. I also have Pinnacle and Betfair/Orbit. Unibet and Palmerbet occasionally let me get on. This really starts to eat into my profits. From memory, I can still get a bet on at Bluebet, Madbookie, Betting.club and Sportsbetting, but I haven’t used them in a while as they were hard to access when overseas.

I lost a few tipsters in 2017, namely Premium (on the extinct Betedge website) and AFLinvestor. I particularly miss Premium’s harness racing tips. There was something really satisfyingly degen having a few trots running under the lights at Melton on a Friday night. I started following three new tipsters in 2018, AFLTipstar (who might not be around in 2019), Ontheoche and Swingform. I have really enjoyed following darts through Ontheoche. It’s the most professionally run service and very relaxing to follow. Swingform has some annoyances, but it’s also relaxing to follow and I like that I can get on most tips with Betfair.

Sportpunter tips (through Daily Profit) was outstanding in the NBA and alright in the NRL. I won’t follow NRL next year but will continue with NBA (maybe even NFL). Probet had an extraordinary year. Simply an amazing run. The service is a victim of its own success with enormous price pressure currently. People used to talk about the difficulty in getting on at decent odds, but I always managed to get decent odds. Recently, I struggle to get on as well. It’s been a long time since the last bad run. Next really bad run will wipe out a lot of Probet subscribers and then price pressure should go back to normal. Good gamblers often come out stronger from losing runs like good businesses following a recession.

The year ahead

I want the site to prove that gambling can be profitable and low risk by following tipsters. One thing I love about investing in gambling is non-correlated returns, not just against other financial markets but between sporting markets. AFL could change a rule which makes me lose money in 2019, but that doesn’t affect my horse racing bets or my darts bets. I want to view my betting like an investment portfolio and ensure that I have quality diverse investments. To achieve this, I’m going to work on 3 things:

  1. A diverse gambling portfolio. This requires more tipsters. That was my first task in 2019. I have already trialled 3 new tipsters, Daniel O’Sullivan’s Betsmart (horse racing), LOL-esports (esports) and Moletips (cycling). The esports tipster has already disappeared. The real task is to find tipsters which I can use with Sportmarket, Pinnacle or Betfair. Otherwise, I’m too restricted on how much I can bet and what odds I can achieve.
  2. A systematic staking and bankroll management. I plan to create a system that will allow me to standardise my tipping. Every tipster seems to use a different bankroll management approach. A lot of the time they just want something simple that people can follow. I’m going to explore how the Kelly criterion works with real data and how it would have looked if I’d used a half kelly vs a progressive bankroll. It could be that I’m better off starting with a low bankroll and betting 10% of my bank on a tip and continually withdrawing money from the bank as savings.
  3. Finding more ways to get bets on. I still think Betbrokers are going to play a big part. I’ve ruled out gnoming (creating bowler accounts); it would give me every site back including promotions and be very profitable, but it’s a legal grey area and I’m potentially someone they would want to make an example of.

One thing which I haven’t mentioned yet on this blog is that after buying my house, I’ve had to reduce my staking by at least half. It’s a little counterintuitive as when I need money, I’m now making less. But I couldn’t survive a losing run. With that in mind, plus having no promotions available to me, I aim to make $30,000 in 2019. Less than I made during 2016-2018, but I like to set reasonable targets.

Not travelling in 2019 means I’ll be less interesting. I will come up with a new goal though, but first, some non-gambling income would be handy. I could try to make a living off gambling which would be a really interesting experiment, but having no official income can be difficult. Despite having assets, if you have no income, then banks aren’t your friend and you can’t borrow money. Leverage has allowed the unknowing masses to accumulate wealth and that option isn’t available to me without a steady income. The same skills which make a successful gambler, make a successful investor, in my opinion.

The honours list

Most viewed post of 2018: Get Pinnacle Back: A guide to AsianConnect88. Got more views than any other post I wrote by a long way.

Best Tipster of 2018: Can’t go past Probet here.

Best new tipster I followed in 2018:  Ontheoche gets the gong for the manner in which he runs his service. The year was below his long term POT, but I have high hopes for 2019.

Biggest win on a single bet: $3900. Bryson DeChambeau winning The Northern Trust tipped by Swingform.

Biggest personal achievement: Watching the sunrise over Everest from Kala Patthar (5555m).

I hope everyone had a profitable 2018 and let’s smash 2019!

6 Comments on 2018 Annual Review – A great year on the punt: $43,210.12 ($522,815.27 turnover)

December 2018 Review – -$6,263 ($19,991 turnover)

Despite a slow month with limited turnover, I managed to lose $6,263. Aside from my worst month of the year, there wasn’t much to report in December. It’s always a…

Despite a slow month with limited turnover, I managed to lose $6,263. Aside from my worst month of the year, there wasn’t much to report in December. It’s always a slow month around Christmas. I’ll keep this month’s review really short, as I want to get stuck into the annual review. I’ve already started to follow a few new tipsters in January, which I will go through in my annual review.

 TurnoverProfit/LossPOT
Totals $19,991 -$6,263-31.32%
NBA - Daily Profit $1,293.00
-$436.02


-32.3%


Horse Racing - Probet Tips $12,826.00

-$4,143.60


-33.7%


Golf - Swingform $1,086.00
-$568.00
-52.3%


Darts - ontheoche $4,786.00


-$1,115.50
-23.3%

Fun Bets $0
$0
0%
Promotional Betting $0 $0
0%

December 2018 gambling loss

Tipster Bets

A sea of red in December. Probet’s amazing run had to end sometime. My loses were exaggerated as I bet a few doubles as singles and both bets lost. This was simply because it worked out better odds-wise to bet the selections separately on two different sites, but meant I used normal staking and effectively bet 4x more than official staking for the double. Swingform and Ontheoche struggled in December. I missed a lot of Daily Profit NBA tips in December, so my results are only from a small set of tips. I’m pretty sure the service had a losing month anyway. I’ve stopped following the NBA tips now, and I’ll start again next October with the same strategy of betting really hard early then decreasing over November and December.

 Turnover 2018 (all time)Profit / Loss 2018 (all time)POT 2018 (all time)
AFL Tipstar $34,208.00 -$305.31-0.9%
NBA Daily Profit $31,775.00
($56,493.62)
$5,177.21
($8,801.46)
16.3%
(15.57%)
NRL Sportpunter $26,309.57 $903.173.4%
Swingform $28,009.56
$1,794.60

6.4%
Ontheoche $38,138.81

$1,806.70


4.7%



Probet $171,809.04
($316,210.16
$23,446.26
($41,210.47
13.6%
(13.03%)

A losing month

Got to cop the losers on the chin. It’s been an amazing year, so there are no qualms from me about losing 6 grand. That’s why everyone who starts gambling needs to start small so bad months don’t destroy their confidence and blow the bank. You need to be prepared for bad months, even bad years. Over the years as your bank increases, I recommend removing your initial money from the bank. That way you’re only betting with winnings and you’ll have less emotional attachment to the money.

That’s all for today. I effectively stopped travelling for the foreseeable future which I’ll explain in the annual review. Just wanted to quickly update December.

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How to get 3% betfair commission on all sports and racing

It’s possible to get 3% commission on Betfair, but it’s not exactly easy. In fact, it’s a pain in the arse, but it can increase your edge significantly. Betfair commission…

It’s possible to get 3% commission on Betfair, but it’s not exactly easy. In fact, it’s a pain in the arse, but it can increase your edge significantly. Betfair commission on NSW racing is 8%; I probably don’t need to tell you how big saving 5% on commission is. It requires you to use a mirror exchange called Orbit Exchange. This product is offered through Asianconnect88 who I’ve written about previously: how punters can use Pinnacle from restricted countries. It may seem like I have a soft spot for Asianconnect88, but I really don’t. They can be terribly painful to deal with: most things require you to email/chat with operators because their UI is super limited, the Know Your Customer (KYC) was the longest KYC process I’ve ever encountered (which is ridiculous considering they operate outside of gambling regulators) and Asianodds is a piece of crap. However, they serve a purpose and until someone else does the job better I’ll be using and recommending them.

What is Orbit Exchange?

Orbit Exchange is a Betfair mirror site that has a set commission of 3% for all sports and horse racing. All the odds and liquidity is exactly the same as Betfair. The website has a different layout, but it has the same markets. Everyone who gambles should know how to use Betfair.

Why is Orbit Exchange a pain in the arse?

  1. You need to use a VPN to access it. Both VPNs I reviewed, Astrill and PureVPN, allow you to access Orbit when using their Finland server nodes. Why Finland? That’s just what AsianConnect88 recommended when I asked.
  2. Asianconnect88 only allows euro accounts, so you’ll need to transfer money to an international account in euros! More on that later.
  3. The website is a lot slower than Betfair when the markets are large. I use it for golf and it takes a lot of patience. It’s OK for horse racing.
  4. It has unscheduled maintenance all the time.

Does this mean we are taking money away from Australian racing?

Yes, but I give less than two shits. Racing authorities don’t serve the people who pay them. To paraphrase Kerry Packer commenting on tax: “they don’t use the money well enough to warrant donating money”. The tax system at least serves the taxpayer, albeit inefficiently. Racing Australia and state racing organisation are self-serving and disconnected from the people who pay them (i.e. punters). Horse racing exists for gamblers; it’s not a sport that would continue without punters. They need to use the money they make from fees to improve the product and fix the bookmaker/punter relationship so we don’t have the current situation of bookmakers preying on the weak while refusing to offer markets to professional punters. They serve the racing industry in a way that is often detrimental to punters. If they look to create a fair betting environment and better racing vision (and commentating) then I’ll start ‘donating’ money.

Enough of my rant. You also won’t be supporting Australian sporting codes, which I don’t take delight from. If you feel the same way, then buy a membership to your supported AFL/NRL club or use Betfair and pay 5% commission.

Is it illegal?

It’s probably illegal for Orbit Exchange to offer the markets to Australians; but as far as I’m aware, it’s not legal for individuals to bet on markets that aren’t regulated in Australia. If you are a Racing Australia member, then you may be in breach and can be fined. This includes everyone who works in the industry or owns a race horse. They recently changed their member terms so they can search computers of members to ensure they aren’t betting on Hong Kong illegal tote exchanges. Can’t imagine it’s stopping anyone though. I am no legal expert, so if you have more accurate information, I would love to hear it. 

How to start betting with Orbit Exchange?

Sign up to Asianconnect88 (you need to use a VPN to sign up to Asianconnect88 since January 2019), deposit money and ask for that money to put in Orbit Exchange. Read my previous post to work out the best way to get money onto Asianconnect88. I have checked with Asianconnect88 twice to confirm that they will still sign up Australian customers even though you can’t access Orbit Exchange from Australia. I can’t guarantee Orbit won’t remove Australians in the future, if I hear they do eventually close to Australians, I’ll update this post. Make sure you use orbitxch.com rather than orbitexch.com (the latter has an extra ‘e’). Both sites look exactly the same, except the former site works. Don’t ask me why. Just one of the frustratingly shit things about how Asianconnect88 runs their business.

The Asianconnect88 links are affiliate links. If you are a reasonably big player, sign up through my affiliate link, get in touch with me and I’ll work out a 50% commission sharing scheme. Don’t expect huge sums of money back, I think I’ve made about 3 euros so far from commissions, but that means the few people who signed up aren’t losing money (which is a good thing).

This page contains affiliate links for Astrill, PureVPN and Asianconnect88. 

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November 2018 Review – $1,295.52 ($51,164 turnover)

I had thought November would be either a disaster or a cracker, but in the end, it turned out to be a reasonable month, nothing special profit-wise. If Marmelo had won, boy, that would have been a great day. Wasn’t to be. Probet had another great month as did OntheOche.

This post is well late. Camping around Australia hasn’t offered much productive time. That’s all about to change soon, as I’ve decided to put some roots down for a while (but I’ll cover that in December’s review which shall be out in a few days). November was fun, albeit not wildly profitable. If Marmelo had won, boy, that would have been a great day. Wasn’t to be. Probet had another great month as did OntheOche. I had thought November would either be a disaster or a cracker, but in the end, it turned out to be a reasonable month, nothing special profit-wise. I’ll keep this post short and sweet as I want to focus on my December post which will include an annual review and the direction I want to head with my gambling in 2019.

 TurnoverProfit/LossPOT
Totals $51,164 $1,295.522.53%
NBA - Daily Profit $12,142.00 -$517.55

-4.3%

Horse Racing - Probet Tips $18,869.00

$3,971.50

21.0%

Golf - Swingform $4,185.00

-$674.09-16.1%

Darts - ontheoche $9,614.00

$1,033.75
10.8%

Fun Bets $6,354.00
-$2,518.09
-39.6%
Promotional Betting $0 $0
0%

Tipster Bets

As I discussed way back in September, I planned to start betting strongly with NBA Daily Profit tips while dropping my stakes continually until Christmas. I bet over 18k in October in 1.5 weeks but only just over 12k for all of November. That’s been the best way to play NBA tips in previous years, and it worked out nicely this year as well.

Probet owned horse racing in November. Brought me back into profit after a lot of losing ‘fun’ bets during the Flemington carnival. It brings Probet’s profit for the year up to $26,959.86! Ontheoche had a good month. Swingform hit quite a few place bets but no big wins.

 Turnover 2018 (all time)Profit / Loss 2018 (all time)POT 2018 (all time)
AFL Tipstar $34,208.00 -$305.31-0.9%
NBA Daily Profit $30,482.00
($55,200.62)
$5,613.23
($9237.48)
18.4%
(16.73%)
NRL Sportpunter $26,309.57 $903.173.4%
Swingform $26,923.56 $2,362.60
8.8%
Ontheoche $33,352.81
$2,922.20

8.8%


Probet $159,613.04
($304,014.16)
$26,959.86
($44,724.07)
16.9%
(14.71%)

No travel costs?

I obviously still have travel costs, but it’s a bit futile to cover them. I bought a car and spent a fair bit of money getting camp ready, but is this really interesting for anyone. No. Attempting to fund my overseas travels was fun and helped me keep my mind on making money and not making any stupid (i.e. non-profitable) bets. I’ll create a new challenge for 2019. What that will be at this stage, I have no idea.

I haven’t really introduced readers to anything interesting recently. Camping really wasn’t conducive to testing gambling theories or trying new tipsters. It has given me a lot of time to read and listen to gambling podcasts. I have been listening to Business of Betting podcast which can be found on SoundCloud or Spotify for free. I highly recommend them.

That’s it for this month. December/Annual review to follow within a few days.

3 Comments on November 2018 Review – $1,295.52 ($51,164 turnover)

Melbourne cup tips: Why I’m betting $4,000 across three horses

Lightly raced, lightly weighted wins Melbourne Cups. That was my strategy last year when I nailed Rekindling. If a horse is lightly raced it can escape the eye of the handicappers…

Lightly raced, lightly weighted wins Melbourne Cups. That was my strategy last year when I nailed Rekindling. If a horse is lightly raced it can escape the eye of the handicappers and race hardened horses tend to underperform in the Melbourne Cup. The trainer of Marmelo, Hughie Morrison, said something similar this week: you need a Group 1 horse handicapped to be a Group 3 horse to win. Let’s have a look at main contenders and then I’ll share my Melbourne Cup tips.

The Contenders

Best Solution (57.5 kg)

Positives: Best horse in the race. Won the Caufield Cup. Won last 4 races on the trot, the last three all being Group 1s. Great gate (gate 6).

Negatives: Even though Best Solution won the Caufield Cup, it wasn’t dominant. A lot of people weren’t impressed. Never run over 2400m.

Would I tip it: I wasn’t impressed with the win in Caufield Cup, but I was impressed that he won when nothing really went his way. Can’t remember the last time a horse won the Caufield Cup and its odds drifted for the Melbourne Cup. He doesn’t fit in with my lightly raced lightly weighted agenda, but decent value after the drift. Not sure whether I see him running out the 3200m. If he keeps drifting, could be a good E/W proposition.

Watch Best Solution in the Caufield Cup:

Yucatan IRE (54.5 kg)

Positives: What a run in the Herbert Power! The time would have been phenomenal if he wasn’t eased to the line.

Negatives: Weight penalty following the Hebert Power was fairly significant. Distance Query. Will start in the car park (gate 23).

Would I tip it: No. Not a chance at the price. The Melbourne Cup is far too tough a race to warrant horses being that short, especially a horse that never won a Group 1 or run 3200m. It does fit the lightly raced model (13 starts for a 5-year-old) and even with the weight penalty still looks quite reasonably weighed (54.5kg). I’d back it $7.50+. If you don’t care about the odds and just want to be able to boost you tipped the winner: Yucatan is your horse.

Watch Yucatan in the Herbert Power Stakes:

Magic Circle (56 kg)

Positives: In fantastic form. Won last two races in style. Can run and win at the distance. Has the reigning Melbourne Cup winning jockey aboard.

Negatives: More weight than I like and the stable has said as much. Hasn’t raced in Australia. Mixed reports regarding its preparation at Werribee. The gate could be better (gate 17).

Would I tip it: Top hope. I like to know a horse can run out the distance. I think people overrate the ‘hasn’t run in Australia’ factor. Hard to imagine it not fighting out the finish.

Watch Magic Circle race away in the Chester Cup:

Muntahaa (55.5 kg)

Positives: Flew home in the Ebor. Looks ok at the weights. Good trainer and jockey. Good gate (gate 13).

Negatives: Aside from Ebor nothing stands out. Temperamental horse.

Would I tip it: Yes! The more I watch the Ebor, the more I like Muntahaa for the Melbourne Cup.

Watch Muntahaa in the Ebor:

Cross Counter (51 kg)

Positives: Very low weight. Has raced in ok form.

Negatives: Hasn’t raced above 2400m. No big race experience. Only OK form. Bad gate (gate 19).

Would I tip it: Is it miss rated? I don’t think so. Closed out most recent race reasonably well, but not outstanding. Too many queries on race experience, distance and just about everything really. All its got is a good weight. Only connections would really know if it has got what it takes.

Watch Cross Counter’s last race in York:

Marmelo (55 kg)

Positives: Year older, same weight as last year. Has some good races under his saddle. Ran well in last year’s Caulfield Cup. Decent form. Can run the distance. Good gate (gate 10).

Negatives: Failed in last years Melbourne Cup.

Would I tip it: There’s a lot to like about Marmelo. Trainers deliberately haven’t raced Marmelo so it would be fresh and wouldn’t get penalised in the weights. Ran as a joint favourite last year for a reason: it’s a good horse. The horse likes to run fresh hence why it’s running The Cup first up. Doesn’t have a recent X-factor run like Muntahaa, Yucatan or Magic Circle but definitely worth a look and a great place chance. Some people will never bet a horse that’s failed in a previous Melbourne Cup, but I see that as a value opportunity.

Watch Marmelo’s closing speed in last year’s Caufield Cup:

The rest of the field

I find it hard to see many other horses getting close. Cliffsofmoher I could make a case for but not terribly excited about it, especially at 56.5kg. Ventura Storm if it ran out of its skin. The likes of Youngstar and Rostropovich haven’t shown enough to make me think they’ll get that close, but I’m a little wary of Rostropovich at the lightweight. A few others just can’t be tipped on current form e.g. Sir Charles Road and Chestnut CoatAvilius is good but not great and the distance is a major query. Sound Check has too much weight for the class of horse but is an outside place chance. Red Cardinal’s best could win it, but hasn’t been racing that well lately (value at $100 and worth a bet in exotics). Who Shot Thebarman is a crowd favourite, but I think 3rd in the 2014 Melbourne Cup is his career highlight. Ace High I give almost a zero chance. Auvary could start with the longest odds of any horse and for good reason. Vengeur Masque has not much to like unless the race is run terribly slowly. A Prince of Arran is a decent horse, but I prefer to avoid horses backing up from Derby Day. The odds seem too short given the barrier. Nakeeta ran well last year, isn’t in great form but might be worth a bet in exotics. Zacada is well below the class required on its best form. Runaway will most likely lead and I can’t see it getting close unless the field lets it go. Odds seem way to short.

My Melbourne Cup Tips

You can only tip on what the horse has shown. I couldn’t find any Group 1 horses rated as Group 3, but I could find three Group 1 horses rated as Group 2 horses. Only the trainers are going to know if some of the low weighted horses are better than their handicap. I foresee Muntahaa chasing down Magic Circle for the win. Magic Circle has slightly better form, but I just love the way Muntahaa won the Ebor. I’m happy to risk Yucatan entirely.

  1. Muntahaa (5)
  2. Magic Circle (3)
  3. Marmelo (9)
  4. Best Solution (1)

What I’m betting:

$2,000 WIN on Muntahaa @ $11 (betting late as the odds may drift a little)

$1,000 WIN on Magic Circle @ $9 (current fixed odds)

$500 E/W Marmelo @ $16.5 (betting late as I suspect odds may start around $19 on Betfair).

$200 Quinella on 1,3,5,9

$300 Trifecta on 1,3,5,6,9,14,16,18, 24 

Slight lean to Muntahaa over Magic Circle, but I envisage them duelling out the finish in a similar way to Heartbreak City and Almandin in 2016. Marmelo is the underrated horse in the 2018 Cup and I’m keen to keep safe. After winning close to $10,000 last month, I’m happy to risk half of that on the Melbourne Cup. I wish that I’d found just one horse I liked but I couldn’t go past the 3Ms (Muntahaa, Magic Circle and Marmelo). Best of luck!

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October 2018 Review – $9,961.95 ($42,761.48 turnover)

NBA tips for the win! Another month of solid profit, $9,961.95 from a turnover of $42,761.48. That’s now $37,348.04 profit in the last 4 months. Last year was remarkedly similar; that is,…

NBA tips for the win! Another month of solid profit, $9,961.95 from a turnover of $42,761.48. That’s now $37,348.04 profit in the last 4 months. Last year was remarkedly similar; that is, a slow first 6 months and then flew home with wet sails in the second half of the year. Probet’s great run continues with another month of 30% plus POT.

 TurnoverProfit/LossPOT
Totals $42,761.48 $9,961.9523.29%
NBA - Daily Profit $18,340.00
$6,130.78
33.4%
Horse Racing - Probet Tips $14,180.00
$4,416.10
31.1%
Golf - Swingform $3,839.00
$168.40
4.4%
Darts - ontheoche $5,859.48
-$894.83
-15.3%
Fun Bets $0 $00%
Promotional Betting $543.00
$141.50
26.1%

October gambling profit

Tipster Bets

NBA tips through Daily Profit has mirrored last year’s start. The model seems to run hot at the start of the season but POT wanes as the season progresses. This is the first year that Daily Profit is solely responsible for releasing the NBA tips. The tips are actually provided by Sportpunter, who in previous years released the tips to his subscribers first then 3o minutes later Daily Profit would release the same tips at lower odds.

I shouldn’t really complain when I’m up $6,130.78 from NBA, running at a POT of 33.4%, but… It can be a difficult service to follow. The odds get smashed in seconds. You have to be logged in and waiting for the tips to get reasonable odds. Daily Profit records odds at the time of release, which is completely unrealistic for any subscribers (I hate it when tipsters’ recorded odds are not realistic, it makes their historical results difficult to analyse). I also would imagine Steve (Daily Profit) and Jonno (Sportpunter) use up the first few thousand euros of liquidity on Pinnacle for each tip. The service does perform really well at the start of the season, therefore I am betting full stake if the odds are within 5%. If the available odds are more than 5% less, I’m betting reduced stakes.

My other annoyance has been of my own making. I had hoped that Asianodds through Asianconnect88 was going to a one-stop shop for NBA tips, however, their website is basically unusable. I plan to write a separate review of Asianodds, but I’d suggest people use Sportmarket as an alternative. Time is critical and it’s not fun watching the odds crash before your eyes while Asianodds is timing out constantly. Plus it doesn’t have Matchbook included in its list of bookmakers (Sportmarket does, read a review of Sportmarket Pro). Individual bookmaker clone sites from Asianconnect88 like Pinnacle and Orbit Exchange work well, it’s just Asianodds that I have a problem with. For the majority of tips, I have been using any corporate site who still takes my bets. Unibet will only accept $260 on a total but often have better lines than other bookies.

Probet continues to dominate with a POT of 31.1% through October. Not surprisingly, his odds can often drop quickly as well, so I reduced my stake size on a number of tips and missed a few altogether. It might seem strange when he’s in red-hot form, but in the long run, I don’t believe it’s profitable taking his tips if the odds are below 15-20%. This isn’t a complaint, just an explanation of why my staking hasn’t risen too much from the previous months. Probet records his odds at what’s available 30 minutes following the release of tips, so no gripes there.

Swingform made a small profit for the month, which was good in the end considering he had a few complete wipeouts. Swingform can be a strange service to follow, recently I found his odds difficult to get but this week I consistently beat his odds. I did the maths on his numbers vs mine, as it’s hard to know what a realistic POT should be, considering I’m not doing his match bets. Even if you can find a site in Australia offering the match bets, they usually include a tie in the market, which the UK sites don’t. I’m consistently taking E/W bets at 5 places with 1/4 odds, whereas he usually takes 6-7 places at 1/5 odds. Checking against his official results, minus match bets, I have a POT of 13.4% and he has 14.8%. I’m not far off the official results. I have also signed up to a reduced commission Betfair clone, Orbit exchange, through Asianconnect88. This will reduce my commission from 5% to 3% and make my golf bets slightly more profitable.

Ontheoche had a below-par month, but I still really like the service he provides. Definitely my second best tipster after Probet. His tips are relaxing to place and the odds are easily attainable. I just wish I could get more money on some of his selections as he doesn’t send out that many tips per month.

 Turnover 2018 (all time)Profit / Loss 2018 (all time)POT 2018 (all time)
AFL Tipstar $34,208.00 -$305.31-0.9%
NBA Daily Profit $18,340.00
($43,058.62)
$6,130.78
($9,755.03)
33.4%
(22.6%)
NRL Sportpunter $26,309.57 $903.173.4%
Swingform $22,738.56 $3,036.69 13.4%
Ontheoche $23,738.81 $1,888.45
8.0%
Probet $140,744.04
($285,145.16)
$22,988.36
($40,752.57)
16.3%
(14.2%)

Promotional Betting

Last month I mentioned, following the Crownbet/Williamhill merger, Beteasy was allowing me to bet their $2 favourites promo. During the month, I realised that they were also giving me bonus back 2nd/3rd racing promotions. A mistake on their behalf which I took advantage of for a few weeks. They have woken up to the glitch now but it was fun while it lasted. Topbetta promo banned me during October and now sends all bets to a trader to manually approve. I was hardly even using them anyway. This means that Topsport is the only site that offers me anything resembling a promotion.

The month ahead

I’m pretty excited about the Melbourne Cup. I’ll post my tips once the final field is announced. The plan is to bet a few thousand dollars if I can find a horse I like. I aim to post a review of Asianodds through Asianconnect88 plus a review of Sportmarket during November. I’m back in Australia now and have some time to look into my own horse racing analysis as well.

One of my readers suggested I look into Tom Waterhouse’s tipping service. Apparently, the service has been doing pretty well. I couldn’t be more dubious about Tom, but I’m sure he does have a lot of dodgy connections beneficial to tipping. I couldn’t sign up whilst overseas as the tips release time didn’t suit. Thanks to Danny for mentioning the NRL tips on Reddit on last month’s comments, I’ll investigate that further before next year’s NRL season.

Backpacking the world with gambling profits

I just arrived back in Australia. Europe was getting cold, Scotland was freezing and wet. In October, we finished travelling in Italy, caught the boat to Malta before heading to Scotland and England. Malta was fun and different to what I expected. I thought it would be an extension of Italy, but it was more like Australia than Italy… minus Malta’s historical significance. It was very multi-cultural and English is their official language (which I didn’t know before I arrived). Beers were cheap, but the food was more expensive than Italy. Scotland was fun as well, the scots are hilarious. The pub food was great and the highlands are really pretty. It rained on us almost every day, but I sense that’s the norm. We had a few final days in London, then flew home. Was a great trip but now onto the next stage: touring around Australia. I will be spending the next month buying a car and getting camping supplies in preparation for the trip.

I made slightly more last month gambling than we spent travelling including flights back home. November should be a quiet month, giving me a chance to catch the red line.

Graph of gambling vs travel expenses

 

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September 2018 Review – $9,215.65 ($21,628 turnover)

A profit of $9,215.65 in September brings my profit for the last 3 months to $27,386.09! Flashpacking through Italy isn’t cheap, so it has come at the right time. Turnover was quite…

A profit of $9,215.65 in September brings my profit for the last 3 months to $27,386.09! Flashpacking through Italy isn’t cheap, so it has come at the right time. Turnover was quite low this month but my Profit on Turnover (POT) was a staggering 42.6%. Turnover was down as there are fewer NRL tips during finals, plus AFL Tipstar decided not to tip the finals. I have no big promotions left to hit which left me with a turnover of only $21,628. I obviously can’t expect to regularly make decent money with such a small monthly turnover, but it should rise next month with the start of NBA and darts hotting up.

 TurnoverProfit/LossPOT
Totals $21,628.00 $9,215.6542.60%
AFL - Tipstar Tips $0 $00%
NRL - Sportpunter Tips $755.00 -$85.00-11.3%
Horse Racing - Probet Tips $10,845.00 $6,418.52 59.2%
Golf - Swingform $3,651.00 -$152.75-4.2%
Darts - ontheoche $5,671.00 $2,825.5049.8%
Fun Bets $427.00 $238.3855.8%
Promotional Betting $279.00 -$29.00-10.4%

Gambling profit for September 2018

Tipster Bets

Probet continues his run-of-a-lifetime. He’s running at an enormous POT the last few months. I should have made more, but I haven’t been regularly updating my staking. Past years I calculated 1% of my Probet ‘bank’ on a weekly basis. These days I simply bet to profit around $1,000 on every race for simplicity, but it has meant that my staking isn’t rising as fast as it should. Starting from October I’m going to raise my desired win amount $50 for every $1,000 of profit. For Probet members who joined recently, I know it seems like his tips can’t lose at the moment, but don’t go wild with your staking, this run can’t last forever.

Ontheoche had a great month as well. I know I rave about niche markets, but they are great for us punters. Bookmakers have great statistical modelling for large markets like AFL and it means there’s very little margin for profit. A 5% POT for AFL is actually quite good. Ontheoche’s historical POT is over 15%, you don’t need to watch or even like the sport to make money from it. As I mentioned in previous posts, I was increasing my darts and golf staking so that my results are not so Probet centric. I raised my ontheoche points to $500, which has proved a little difficult in some instances. In matches with odds over $2 I often have to spread my bets across two sites. This is the main downside to niche markets, the staking isn’t as scalable.

Swingform had a middling month, hit one winner but got cleaned up by the Ryder Cup. AFL Tipstar decided not to tip the finals and may never be heard from again. I’m not sure if I’ll follow tips on AFL in 2019, I’ll see how I feel early next year. I used to have a great AFL Fantasy tipster called AFLinvestor, but he went silent a few years ago. I’m open to exploring fantasy tournaments but I haven’t found a reliable tipster.

NBA starts in October, I’ll be using Sportpunter tips through Daily Profit. The totals have been quite profitable in the past, especially at the beginning of the season. I plan to stake high for the first month and a half then start reducing my staking. Seems strange, but the model is historically more profitable at the start of the season. You’ll need Asianodds or Sportmarket if you are following the tips. I’m using Asianodds.

I’m always on the lookout for tipsters in markets other than Australian horse racing, darts, golf and NBA. Let me know if you have any suggestions. I share all the tipster I use; sharing your tipsters and ideas with the betting community doesn’t make your tips any less profitable.  

 Turnover 2018 (all time)Profit / Loss 2018 (all time)POT 2018 (all time)
AFL Tipstar $34,208.00 -$305.31-0.9%
NRL Sportpunter $26,309.57
$903.173.4%
Swingform $18,899.56 $2,868.29
15.2%
Ontheoche $17,879.33 $2,783.28 15.6%
Probet $126,564.04
($270,965.16)
$18,572.26
($36,336.47)
14.7%
(13.4%)

Personal and Promo Betting

Beteasy since the merger has allowed me to bet on their $2 favourites promotion. I’m still promotion banned so I’m guessing this is an oversight. It’s not much money, but it all adds up. The only other sites that still offer me promotions are Topsports and Topbetta. If you aren’t promotion banned, make sure you match bet promos as fast as you can. There is no point slow playing; they ban winners, doesn’t matter if you’re only a small winner.

Other than a few promo bets, I won a few ‘fun’ bets. My mate sends me some 1st goal scorers / try scorers for the bigger matches. They aren’t +ev longterm but it’s just a bit of fun (and often they hit).

What’s been happening in the world of betting

The greedy powers that be are reconsidering in-play betting. Apparently, it’s causing people to gamble overseas where gamblers aren’t protected like they are in Australia. A load of BS. People with the will and skills to join illegal bookmakers aren’t people that would be considered typical problem gamblers. The government simply wants more money and is worried that bookmakers are losing tax-generating customers. Therefore at the expense of the average losing punter, they are discussing lifting the ban on in-play betting. Personally, I don’t care too much, I just hate the rhetoric.

Anything else?

I’ve been giving some thought to attempting my own market modelling. It’s only in the incubator stage at the moment, but when I get back to Australia I’m going to start investigating horse racing analysis and form. I would ideally like to create a system when I assess Betfair markets at race time and bet/lay when the opportunities present. Tipsters like Probet who bet early have to beat a bookmaker edge of 30-40%. That’s huge. If you’re betting at race time on Betfair you only have to be better than 10% and odds can move around quite a lot on Betfair. I plan to be back in Australia in November (touring around) where I’ll have more downtime to explore this potential.

Backpacking the world with gambling profits

I spent September travelling from Piedmont (Northern Italy) to Sicily. Some of my favourite places so far are Alba (Piedmont), everywhere in Umbria, Rome and Polignano a Mare. Italy is great, but I’m starting to crave something other than Italian. In Melbourne, there is an amazing array of cuisine. I’d kill for some Schezwan or Ethiopian. A laska would go down a treat. In Italy, you have Italian food and that’s about it. The occasional Chinese restaurant serving Japanese food is about as multi-cultural as the food gets. It’s starting to get to me a little!

I’m currently in Sicily. I’ve been watching The Godfather movies to get some historical perspective. A few more days then I’m catching the boat to Malta, then flying to Scotland. Italy, as I mentioned, has not been cheap, but my partner and I haven’t necessarily been trying to save too much money. When you make over $27,000 betting in three months, it eases the wallet strings. We spent $13,384 in September, although we have accommodation booked until midway through October included in that cost. However, that is another month where I earned less gambling than I spent travelling. Our spending should start to ease next month and then November will be rather economical as we prepare to tour around Australia camping.

September gambling profits vs travel costs

1 Comment on September 2018 Review – $9,215.65 ($21,628 turnover)

Best VPNs for Australian Gamblers

There are many VPN products on the market, but very few with the features required for Australian gamblers. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a way to disguise your real…

There are many VPN products on the market, but very few with the features required for Australian gamblers. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a way to disguise your real location. It protects your privacy from the website you are visiting. Online gamblers need VPNs to avoid linked accounts when using shared internet connections and to gamble overseas. It’s no secret that bookmakers record data on their users; if you aren’t aware how they spy on you, you should read this article. Account linking is when a bookmaker records a link between two users based on a common IP address e.g. two housemates using the same wifi. The implications for linked accounts is that bookmakers may restrict your account because the linked user, let’s say your housemate, is a successful gambler. Whilst there are many VPN providers, only two offer a dedicated Australian IP.

Why use a dedicated Australian IP?

A VPN endpoint is, unless specified, a non-fixed shared endpoint. It may disguise your real IP/location, but your VPN IP may have thousands of other people using it. A dedicated IP isn’t shared and doesn’t change. Bookmakers get suspicious when the IP address of your computer is constantly changing. You risk getting flagged by the bookmakers’ fraud prevention teams when using a desktop or laptop with a constantly changing IP address. Additionally, if you are sharing your IP, your account could be linked with any number of other users.

When I began researching VPNs I was surprised to learn that there were only two companies that offered dedicated IPs to Australian customers: Astrill and PureVPN. When most reviewers rate VPNs on the internet, they are concerned primarily with features like data retention, privacy and being anonymous. As gamblers, we are only concerned with privacy and ease of use. I’m not interested in signing up via bitcoin or whether the VPN provider will provide the US government with my user logs if requested. I just want to gamble as if I was in Australia and not worry who else is sharing my internet connection.

The below links are affiliate links. If you found the post useful and sign up through the links, I will make a few dollars.

Astrill VPN

Astrill VPN interfaceLink: Astrill

Cost: $99.90 USD per year.

Cost of a Dedicated IP: $5 USD per month ($60 USD for the year).

Rating: 4/5

My personal experience: Astrill costs more than other VPNs on the market, but it doesn’t leak your location and it’s easy to use. For the most part, Astrill has worked like a charm and justifies the additional expense. The main annoyances I have had:

  • Some issues with flash sites (e.g. Bet365) and media players (e.g. tab racing media player) when countries have firewalls blocking gambling sites e.g. China and Indonesia. I’m not sure why flash has an issue but it does.
  • The sign-up process is fairly annoying (SMS authentication required).
  • It’s more costly than most VPN providers.
  • Not being able to use it in certain countries (listed under Important fine print), but most people are unlikely to travel to many of the countries listed. Previously, Indonesia was also on the restricted list, which is more likely for Australian travellers.
  • In stealth mode, it doesn’t automatically log on when resuming from suspend mode.
  • It blocks access to some VPN tools which rate and sell other VPN products.

What’s my location when using the VPN: Sydney.

Privacy: Good enough to fool Australian bookmakers. Websites, if they are clever, can still tell that you are using a VPN but won’t be able to tell your location. Tabtouch (surprisingly, because they seem like one of the most defunct sites) does register that you are using a VPN and will send you a letter after 1 month requesting you call them to verify you are in Australia.

Steps to setup:

  1. Subscribe and ensure that you purchase the dedicated IP.
  2. Authenticate via SMS. If you signing up outside of the country you reside, see the section on other useful information.
  3. Download and install the Astrill software package from your members’ page.
  4. Select Australia (Private) as the server you wish to use.
  5. Change the mode to StealthVPN. This is important as the other modes leak your real location and IP address. 
  6. Go to Settings, click on Privacy and ensure the following is ticked as you see in the screenshot below.
Settings for Astrill VPN

Privacy Settings

Features: Astrill has a number of good features

  • Internet Killswitch: If you drop connection through the VPN, you will not revert to your real IP address. The killswitch will drop all your internet access until you manually intervene.
  • Mobile application available for Android and Apple users.

Important fine print: Astrill Services may not be used in the following countries: Belarus, Burma, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Senegal, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Togo and Zimbabwe. If you have signed up from within these countries by cheating our signup procedure (for example using proxies to hide your real location), your account will be terminated and money NOT refunded.

Other useful information: If you sign up from abroad be aware that you need an authentication code sent via SMS. The registration process checks your location and will only allow you to enter a phone number from the country you are currently located. This is very frustrating if you are travelling and don’t have a local SIM card. You can bypass this however with the following hack:

  1. Using Chome, download the Hola extension. Hola is a useful geo-unblocker, but as a security conscious person, I disable the extension in Chrome when I’m not using it. I recommend you do the same.
  2. Set your location on Hola to the USA.
  3. Using an SMS service e.g. like this one, pick a temporary number and you’ll get your verification code.

PureVPN

Link: PureVPN

Cost: $84.95 USD for 2 years. Note: Prices change all the time and usually they have pop-up specials for better deals.

Cost of a Dedicated IP: $1.99 USD per month ($23.88 USD for the year).

Rating: 1/5 (before September 2018 upgrade). 4/5 (after upgrade).

My personal experience: I have been using PureVPN for 6 months and was writing a fairly scathing review as it failed its primary job and leaked your real IP and location; however, whilst in the middle of this post, they have updated their software. Now it works brilliantly and may represent better value than Astrill.  My experience over the last 6 months:

  • My real IP was disclosed via a method called WebRTC. I use the following site to test VPNs: ipleak.net.
  • Websites that attempt to detect your location generally uncover your real location through WebRTC tests. This is a major issue! To give you a few examples: WilliamHill detected that I was outside Australia and prevented login. TAB allowed login but prevented betting. Beteasy allowed betting but denied streaming video.
  • Internet killswitch doesn’t always work.

I have retested following the update and Williamhill/Beteasy now allows access. TAB sky racing video works. It appears that my major concerns have all now been resolved.

What’s my location when using the VPN: Sydney.

Privacy: As of October 2018, it provides the same level of privacy as Astrill.

Steps to setup:

PureVPN screenshot

  1. Subscribe.
  2. Download and install the PureVPN software package from your members’ page.
  3. Log in using the details provided.
  4. Select the Dedicated IP Option and enter the Hostname provided by PureVPN and then select connect.

Features:

  • Mobile application available for Android and Apple users.

Important fine print: Nothing I’ve come across.

Other useful information: None.

Are there any free options?

The chrome extension Hola will give you privacy for free. Hola works by using other Hola users’ PCs as relay points (including your PC). When connected, it will find Australian users and route your traffic through their internet connection. It also means that other people are using your internet connection to gain access to websites in the country you are in.

Their main advantage is it’s free and it works. The disadvantages are:

  • Your IP will constantly change alerting fraud detection at bookmakers.
  • Hola sells internet exit points to the highest bidder. They have millions of users all around the world allowing them to operate as a huge botnet. This rather dubious practice has come under much criticism.
  • You don’t know who is using your internet or how they are using it.

If you are on a short holiday, Hola is a useful tool. It’s free but doesn’t give you a dedicated IP. This means it’s not a good choice for serious gamblers. Make sure you remember to shut it down if you do use it.

Astrill vs PureVPN

The decision will really come down to cost vs reliability. Astrill has proven itself a more trustworthy company over a longer period. You pay for that though. As I am a reasonably serious gambler, my preference is Astrill as I feel my privacy is safer in their hands, especially with a 100% working killswitch. With the recent update, PureVPN appears the better value proposition. I can’t vouch for the ongoing reliability of PureVPN as they have only just started providing a working service. At less than half the cost, PureVPN may be worth the risk. I’ll leave it in your hands to decide.

  • Cost: Winner= PureVPN.
  • VPN leak test: Winner= Tie. Both pass.
  • Features: Winner= Astrill. More settings and customisable options. Killswitch works.
  • Mobile Apps: Winner= Tie.
  • Setup: Winner= PureVPN.
  • Ease of use: Winner= Astrill.

As previously mentioned, the links are affiliate links. If you found the post useful and sign up through the links, I will make a few dollars. Since researching VPNs initially for my personal use, I have come across an additional VPN provider that claims to provide dedicated Australian IPs with their VPN platform: vpnarea.com. I have never used the provider so I can’t personally recommend them. 

 

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